The seventeenth annual report by the Barcelona Observatory sees the city compare favourably in European and global rankings for innovation, competitiveness and attracting talent and investment. This is the first time the study has analysed work-life balance, the city faring better than cities such as Paris and Vancouver and only coming behind Helsinki, Munich, Oslo, Hamburg, Stockholm, Berlin and Zurich.
Barcelona stands out in fields such as LGBTI and equality, holiday entitlement, welfare, fitness and commuting time. In terms of living costs, Barcelona occupied position 91 in the classification of the 209 cities in the world with the highest cost of living.
The report was launched on December 4 by the first deputy mayor for Economy, Labor, Competitiveness and Finance of the Barcelona City Council, Jaume Collboni, and the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Navigation of Barcelona, Joan Canadell. Elaborated jointly by this Chamber and the City Council, brings together data from different international studies and reflects the city’s fine health in innovation, competitiveness, attraction of talent and foreign investment, among more than 33 global standards indicators.
Barcelona moves up four places in the European classification of the most innovative cities, occupying fourth place for the first time ever and only trailing to London, Paris and Berlin. In terms of the ranking of the world cities analysed by the Innovation Cities Index, Barcelona climbs nine places to reach twenty-first place.
In global competitiveness, the city ranks twenty-second in the world, moving up two places from last year, and eleventh out of the top 25 cities in Europe.
Strong in attracting talent and capital
Barcelona is also well-positioned (7th) among the main urban areas in the world in attracting foreign investment. The city stands out for attracting research and development projects, ranking fourth in the world behind Paris, Singapore and Bangalore.
In addition, this is the third year running that Barcelona is the third favourite European city for start-ups, ahead of Paris, Amsterdam and Munich, and the fifth most attractive city in the world for digital talent wishing to work abroad, only trailing to London, New York, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Leaders in training and scientific production
The city maintains its status as a leader in business training excellence, being the only European city with two of the continent’s top ten business schools (IESE and ESADE) It is also the fifth city in Europe and twenty-third in the world in terms of academic scientific production, with a year-on-year increase of 8.2% in publications.
Barcelona ranks fourth in the world in the organisation of international congresses and tops the list in terms of the number of participants, according to the ranking by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The city has been in the top five in this ranking for the last nineteen years.